In Brief: An immature movie for the mature among us.
Good Boys is bad. That’s bad in a good way. Or to further define it, the movie is also not about boys that are good bad boys. The boys in question are good good boys. Best of all, they’re not good boys in a bad movie.
Now you’re lost and maybe I should start over.
Good Boys is the year’s funniest comedy, and is an immature movie for the mature among us. That statement comes with an asterisk. It’s the funniest comedy of the year if sometimes raunchy, f-bomb-laced comedy doesn’t offend you. That comment leads to a second asterisk. Even if it does offend, you’ll probably laugh anyway.
You see, the f-bomb-laced raunch is from the point of view of 12-year olds. They don’t quite understand all the sex stuff being thrown at them. That’s the charm of the film and why — straight-laced or not so-straight-laced — you’ll likely laugh.
And you’ll laugh loud and hard.
Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams and Brady Noon are — in order — Max, Lucas and Thor. They’re 12 and have arrived at puberty. Max wants to kiss the girl of his dreams; one he’s convinced he’s going to marry someday. Lucas’ parents are divorcing and he’s a compulsive truth-teller. Thor wants the lead singing role in the school’s production of Rock of Ages.
Not sure how to go about kissing, the boys steal Max’s dad’s prized drone to spy on two high school girls. Something goes wrong and the drone crashes at their feet. The girls figure out what’s going on and keep the drone. Somehow the boys manage to steal the purse of one of them.
It contains their edible pot.
How the two parties manage to get it all sorted out takes you on a journey through sex, sex toys, fantasies and friendship and all of it from a 12-year old boy viewpoint. This leads to a third asterisk. This movie is not just aimed at guys.
Women will find themselves howling right along with the men in the audience. Some of you will laugh even louder than the guys.
The kid casting is superb. Tremblay has shined since he burst on the scene in Room in 2015. He’s exceptional and his two leading guy pals, Williams and Noon are very good as well. Even better, these kids have as good a time doing this movie as the adult actors who are also very good.
Special kudos go to Molly Gordon (Life of the Party) and Midori Francis (Ocean’s Eight) who shine as the two teen girls.
Good Boys is co-written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, and is directed by Stupnitsky. The latter man is a co-producer and writer of several episodes of TV’s The Office and both men wrote the Cameron Diaz comedy, Bad Teacher.
To get a real clue about the direction of this plot, Good Boys is co-produced by Seth Rogen. He — as you know — doesn’t have much of a taste filter. Neither does this movie.
That leads to yet another asterisk. Does a movie really need to have taste — good boys, or good anything or not — to be appreciated?
Director: Gene Stupnitsky
Stars: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Midori Francis, Will Forte, Millie Davis, Josh Caras, Lil Rel Howery, Retta
Yes, it’s laced with F-bombs and, yes, it’s packed with all kinds of kinky sex lines and plot threads but it’s also funny with a capital F. Give Good Boys a good rating 4 1/2 out of 5 on the Friday Flicks with Gary 0 to 5 scale.
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Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.
He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.